If there’s something in your past which doesn’t reflect well on you it’s far better to admit it publicly before you get in to parliament, especially if it makes you look like a hypocrite.
Using the birth certificate of a dead child to obtain a false passport is a despicable act. Even if it happened years ago and the person who did it was discharged without conviction, it’s the sort of thing people ought to know before he becomes an MP.
According to the court file, the judge told him: “There is no public interest in what you did 20 years ago.”
The judge also said Mr Garrett had led a “blameless life”, and reporting his crime would have consequences disproportionate to the crime that he committed.
For someone who wasn’t in the public eye that may be true. But according to the report the trial was in 2005, the year in which Garrett entered parliament, three years later Garrett entered parliament.
Politicians don’t have to have had blameless past. But any who don’t confess any misdeeds to the public early are inviting trouble when, as is almost inevitable in a country where most people know someone who knows someone who knows you, it eventually comes out.
If your name’s been suppressed can you make it public?